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Showing posts from March, 2013

Video making and editing

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After a weekend of blood, sweat and near tears, I can now report I've finished the Jools video ready for the start of the KAL on Easter Monday (interestingly also April Fools Day!). It's never going to win any prizes but I hope it will do the job of demonstrating all the techniques used to knit the beret.

It was a massive learning curve for me. Before we started I had zilch experience with editing video and a couple of days later, I've somehow acquired the basics. Huge respect to all those generous souls who take the trouble to share their expertise on YouTube, without whom I'd still be floundering.
I can't tell you what a huge relief it is for me to actually have the video in the can. My next book, Great Little Gifts to Knit, will be published by the Taunton Press in September, and, like Sweet Shawlettes, offers many different techniques, showcased within a collection of small projects. With this in mind I'd decided to make a series of short how-to tutorials t…

June Tabor at The Early Music Centre

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I've hung back in telling you about this gig, mainly because I don't feel easy about making negative comments about live music. I'm a great believer in keeping music live and know from experience how dedicated artists are to their craft, so I wouldn't choose to be dissing the endeavours of someone I know to be one of the finest singers on the British folk scene.

Making the Jools video!

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Today's task is to make a video of the techniques in the Jools Beret, ready for the start of the KAL on April 1st. For hardened YouTubers, this may sound simple, but at the moment for me it seems like a big mountain to climb. We borrowed a tripod from a neighbour so I'm just about to enter the studio (aka the living room) and start rolling. It would have been much better light in my office at the top of the house, but the banging of the roofers is deafening at the moment - a friend over the road took this pic - see what I mean?
Hard enough dealing with the camera anyway, but coupled with noise distractions... hmmm, we'll see.  Also I'm not fully confident with the editing yet, but will treat this as a trial run and see how it goes. Apparently for simple cuts you can edit in Quick Time, so I'll have a play later and fingers crossed it will all come together.
So what am I teaching? On the video there will be two cast-ons, a tip for getting rid of the jag when joining…

Love my guitars - old and new!

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Can't wait another moment to tell you I've got a new guitar! So exciting. I've been meaning to get another guitar for years now but never got around to doing anything about it, mainly because I rarely have time to play.
A further reason is my love affair with my old Guild D40 - it's been around for most of my adult life - a dear old friend.  This is a guitar with a rich and varied past  - from busking in around the UK and Europe, to the insides of a multitude of folk clubs - in another life when I used to be part of Scarlet Vardo, a duo with Brian, my late husband.
He bought it new in Manchester in the early sixties. The story goes that he couldn't afford a guitar case, which resulted in this cautionary tale. One day soon after its purchase, Brian was carrying the Guild across a busy road between two vehicles stopped at traffic lights. He was in a hurry, so didn't see the tow-rope between the cars and.... sacre blue... quel horreur... he stumbled over the rope,…

Low Bellmanear

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Had a nostalgic stroll down memory lane yesterday. The weather had been so dire, but suddenly there was a chink of sunlight, so P and I decided to throw caution to the winds and go for a bracing constitutional in the country.
We got in the car and couldn't agree on which way to go. Then it occurred to me that what I really wanted to do was visit my old home, the place where my eldest two boys grew up and where my then husband and I started our fledgling knit design business.  We also had a menagerie of animals: dog, cats, two ponies, a donkey, a horse, goats, chickens, geese, ducks and bees.  People used to ask how we filled our time stranded in the middle of the countryside, but there was never a spare moment. In fact, as we were growing most of our own vegetables as well, we really needed a 36 hour day to fit everything in.  The house is quite isolated, four fields back off the road through farm gates, which had to be opened and closed. It had stood uncared for and empty for yea…

Django Unchained!

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Well not exactly, in fact I'm beginning to feel the opposite is what Django needs, a little less liberty to create more problems for himself. Yes,...he's been in the wars again.

At the moment our home is enveloped by scaffolding for work that's being done on the leaking roof. It never occurred to us that the cats might think we'd erected one massive climbing frame for them, but of course that's just what they thought.
Arlo, being the more cautious of the two, hasn't been inclined to risk life and limb on it yet, but Django was full of the joys of spring a few days ago and threw himself wholeheartedly into exploring his curious new toy. He had no problem with the first level, the trouble started when he attempted to launch himself from a standing start up to the second level - 8 feet higher!  He managed to get his front paws onto the timber at the top, but  couldn't get a hold and he plummeted down two floors to the garden below, watched by the bemused buil…

A day out in Gateshead!

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We had an interesting day yesterday in Gateshead and Newcastle - twin cities on the banks of the Tyne. The primary reason for our visit was to see Richard Thompson and his trio in concert at The Sage, but as we'd never been to the Sage or its near neighbour, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, we thought we'd make a day of it.
We arrived at about 1.30pm and although it was bitterly cold on the banks of the Tyne, the stupendous views down the river over the Blinking Eye bridge and exploring the little embankment market kept us happy and on the move. There was a great little stall selling Italian leather, and it had my fav Graffiti purses at amazing prices. Note to US readers - when I say purse I mean what we carry cash in, not a handbag, What was it that  Churchill famously said about being Separated by a common language...? Anyway I just couldn't resist getting another one in a glorious spring colourway - always good to have a reserve.

After the market we strolled back…